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Michel Brousset - Testimonials - CesarGamio.com

Michel Brousset

Country Managing Director L’Oréal UK & Ireland at L'Oréal

César's first engagement with L'Oréal UK & Ireland was via a very inspirational keynote speech to our top 100 managers in the company. It was electrifying and the starting point for us of a new journey towards a healthier, more balanced and more mindful organisation.

The feedback was terrific and we had several requests for him to lead mindfulness workshops at the divisional level as well as becoming the most requested personal coach in our company.

Cesar combines real business experience, with a no non-sense approach to wellbeing, managing stress and mindfulness. The teams and individuals that have engaged with him highlight that his approach is not a cookie-cutter recipe but individualised, realistic and practical.

I would strongly recommend Cesar to individuals or organisations that are looking to start in the journey toward wellbeing.

Michel Brousset - Testimonials - CesarGamio.com LVMH - Testimonials - CesarGamio.com

Hugues Pietrini

Executive Vice President International Distribution at Louis Vuitton - Moët Hennessy

The are some encounters in life that can change you deeply. I have had the chance to meet César and engage in a coaching experience with a strong focus on meditation. César has made a huge impact on me both professionally and personally. Everyone should meditate and apply his teachings. Thank you César!

Deirdre O'Kennedy - Testimonials - CesarGamio.com Aer Lingus - Testimonials - CesarGamio.com

Deirdre O'Kennedy

Health & Safety Advisor at Aer Lingus

César was invited to deliver sessions to our senior management and other members of our staff on how to increase our capacity for professional wellbeing. Based on evidenced-based research, he made a compelling case for the need to invest in developing the physical, mental and emotional wellbeing of our employees in order to increase productivity, safety and performance.

The feedback from these sessions clearly shows that César is a passionate and engaging speaker, who has the ability to inspire his audience to take clear and decisive steps towards a healthier and more fulfilling professional life. He has been invited by senior management to return and continue fostering the human skills of our employees to keep making our company a great place to work.

Most Recent Articles

How to go back to sleep in the middle of the night

You have experienced this situation before. You wake up in the middle of the night, and you desperately want to go back to sleep. “I’ve got a full-on day tomorrow, and  I need all the rest that I can get”, you anxiously remind yourself. You toss and turn hoping that you will transition into a deep slumber, only to realise that it’s just wishful thinking. You have been through this before, so you know that deep sleep will be hard to come by anytime soon or it may not come at all.

There is a common, widespread myth that “if you wake up in the middle of the night and can’t go back to sleep, you should just stay in bed”. If you are able to stay relaxed in bed, experts would agree that staying in bed may help you fall back asleep.  However, if you feel anxious, agitated and/or tense because of your inability to drift back off, sleep experts suggest that you should desist from trying so hard.

If 20 minutes have gone by and you are still unable to fall asleep, then you should get up and do something else. The reason behind this is that your brain thrives on making associations. This means that if night after night you stay awake for long periods in bed, your brain will quickly learn that your bed is a place where you should be awake.

Some people find it hard to follow this advise because they think they are sacrificing precious sleep time by getting up and anxiety levels may rise, but what you have to understand is that you need to start training your brain again to relearn the association with your bedroom being about sleep rather than wakefulness.

If you decide to follow this evidence-based advise, these are a few recommendations on what to do when you get up in the middle of the night:

1.-Meditate for at least 10 minutes.- Go to another room, sit down and meditate. Meditation will quiet your mind and will slow down the fight-or-flight mechanisms of your nervous system (which are mainly responsible for insomnia).

2.-Perform deep breathing techniques.- Most deep breathing techniques aimed at calming down your nervous system will do the trick. My favourite one is referred to as the 4-7-8 technique. Inhale through your nose for a count of 4, hold your breath for a count of 7, and exhale through your mouth for a count of 8. Repeat this cycle up to 6 times only.

3.-Read something light.- Go to another room and read a short story, a light novel or anything that has a calming effect on you. Stay away from the news, heavy fiction, work-related material, dense poetry, etc., since some of this material will require increased levels of attention. Make sure NOT to turn on the light and use a clip-on lamp that you can attach your book or magazine.

4.-Do not eat.-Digesting food in the middle of the evening will definitely interfere with your natural sleep cycle. Besides, eating in the middle of the night may contribute to weight gain, abnormal cholesterol levels, alterations in blood sugar regulations, altered hormone function and inflammation.

5.-Stay away from digital devices.- Digital devices radiate blue-light which upon contact with your retina triggers brain activity and halts the secretion of melatonin (the hormone responsible for inducing sleep).  If you decide to read, stick to old-fashioned paper.

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Put your healthy anxiety to good use

Some time ago, I asked an exceptional psychologist friend of mine the main reason why people would come to see her for treatment. Even before I could even finish the sentence, she affirmed in matter-of-fact fashion “Anxiety, of course, César!”.

Anxiety is a feeling of unease, such as fear or worry, that can be mild or severe. Mild anxiety, such as low levels of apprehension, mild muscle tightness and doubts about your ability, may actually improve your performance.  Anxiety levels on this low end of the spectrum may actually motivate you to work harder toward a goal and improve your attention and problem-solving.

For instance, anxiety about an upcoming meeting, presentation or interview will likely drive you to prepare thoroughly.  Normal levels of anxiety can prove to be adaptive and helpful to your everyday life.

On the other side of the spectrum, however, you will find the clinical levels of anxiety.  When your performance rapidly decreases, causing impairment and obvious physiological and recurrent symptoms (sleep problems, panic attacks, nausea, etc.), then you may find that you have a diagnosable anxiety disorder such as phobia, PTSD, obsessive/compulsive, panic or generalised anxiety disorder.

What if you find yourself in the middle of the anxiety spectrum? If you feel that your level of anxiety is becoming a barrier, is no longer adaptive and is hindering your performance, then I urge to act before your chronic anxiety grows steadily into a clinically diagnosable anxiety disorder.  The smart course of action is to start using evidenced-based strategies that will help you bring your anxiety back to the adaptive, low end of the spectrum.

Here are a few evidence-based options to keep your anxiety in check:

1.-Practice mindfulness.- Whether in the form of daily 10-minute meditation practice or any other techniques that can help you focus on the present moment.

2.-Face situations instead of avoiding them.- If you regularly face the things that cause you anxiety (difficult conversations, public speaking, etc.) over time, the anxiety will fade away.

3.-Eat anxiety calming foods.- Choose foods such as complex carbs (quinoa, legumes, vegetables, etc.) which boost serotonin, the calming brain hormone.  Drink plenty of water and limit your alcohol and caffeine consumption (which can cause edginess).

4.-Enjoy physical activity.- Whether in the form of regular exercise, playing sports, walking your dog, taking a power walk with your friends, any kind of activity that gets your body moving, will cause chemical changes in the brain which can positively improve your mood.

5.-Avoid drug therapies if possible.-  If you are not experiencing clinical levels of anxiety, then exhaust all the non-pharmaceutical therapies possible. According to several studies, medications alone are less effective than psychotherapy in the long run.

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Money will buy you happiness if…..

I’m sure you’ve heard this saying before, “money can’t buy happiness”.  People who know me well enough know that I’m not a big fan of blanket statements or speaking in absolutes, and this certainly applies in this case.  Research suggests that money can actually buy you happiness if you spend it in specific ways.

Studies have shown that if you are able to meet your basic needs financially, then the principles that I am about to share with you apply to everyone, regardless of net worth, level of income or socioeconomic status.

Recently, researchers at San Francisco University have reached similar findings to previous studies on happiness.  Most of the physical things that we buy will increase our happiness sharply at the moment of purchase, but this happiness will fade away in the ensuing weeks.  Usually, 60 days after we have purchased a tangible object, most of us will return to the same level of happiness before the object was acquired.

Buying experiences, however (such as taking a vacation, going to dinner or a show), is a whole different ball game.  When we buy an experience, however big or small, our body is inundated with happiness-inducing hormones all throughout the process of the experience. Our happiness level increases when we are planning the experience, when we look forward to it, when we have the actual experience, and when we look back at the fond memories (even for years in some cases).

For instance, if you take a look at my diary, you’ll see that I have a permanent recurring meeting every Friday evening from 6 pm to 9.30 pm. This entry is labelled  “Paula and daddy night out”.  When I’m in town, every Friday evening I collect my 10-year-old daughter from school and take her to dinner and a movie.  If for some pressing reason I’ll be unavailable that Friday evening, I will reschedule for the next day or the day after that (my daughter is a savvy negotiator :-))

During my work week, every time I glance at that diary entry, I get a hit of dopamine and serotonin (the happiness hormones).  This instant hormonal bath will increase my sense of wellbeing, will make me more resilient to face the potential rigours of the week and will make me healthier (dopamine and serotonin are immunoregulators that fine-tune our immune system).

Having your diary packed with scattered experiences throughout the week is a sound strategy to increase your levels of happiness.

 

Recommendations

 

Not all experiences require money expenditure, but if you have some disposable income that you want to put to good use, then the following suggestions have the potential to increase your levels of happiness:

1.-Spend money on experiences instead of material things. Remember that we rarely get bored with cherished memories like we do with physical objects.

2.-Spend money on someone. Harvard researchers found that spending on oneself provides an ephemeral wellbeing boost compared to the lasting wellbeing effect of spending on others. Remember that the amount spent is not that relevant.

3.-Give your money away in person. Rather than posting a check to your charity of choice, hand that check in person and spend time with the beneficiaries of your donation.  If you encounter a person in need on the street, give this person something (money, food, reassuring words), look at him/her in the eyes and assess how you feel.

4.-Spend within your means. I can’t emphasise enough the fact that the amount spent is not relevant.  It’s the action in itself which counts.

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Should you be taking vitamin and mineral supplements?

The question of whether we should be taking vitamins and mineral supplements to improve our health and wellbeing is still frequently asked, and the answer is really not that complicated.

First and foremost, sourcing your micronutrients (vitamins and minerals) intake from your diet should be your priority. Eating a variety of different foods, preferably plant-based (fruits, vegetables, tubers, whole grain cereal & legumes) every day, is, by and large, the best nutritional tactic.

However, in spite of our best intentions, eating a healthy diet doesn’t guarantee that we will get the recommended daily intake of every micronutrient that we need.  There are many reasons behind this potential deficit, and in this article, I will focus one: where you source your food.

Depending on where you live, the vegetables you are buying from your local shop might have been grown on soil that lacks certain minerals.  The quality of the soil will vary depending on the geographical area where the land is located, farming practices and soil management to name a few influential factors.

For instance, I recently learned that the soil where I source my vegetables from is deficient in selenium, which is an essential nutrient that supports our reproductive function, DNA production, thyroid gland function and immune system. Although I thought that I was getting my recommended daily dosage of selenium every day through my selenium-rich diet (spinach, lentils, mushrooms, beans, etc.), I apparently wasn’t.

To correct this imbalance, I can always go to the supermarket and buy my vegetables from other producers from around the world, but how do I know for sure that the soil those vegetables where grow in contain the minerals I need? Even if their farming practices and soil management are of the highest standards, selenium may exist in that soil in a form that is either absorbed by plants with difficulty or unavailable to plants altogether.

Selenium has been shown to be a powerful antioxidant that helps defend the body from chronic diseases such as cancer and heart disease, so if I’m unsure as to whether I’m getting the full amount, what are the options?

I have spoken with many different scientific experts that agree with a large number of scientists in the nutrition community. They support the idea of taking multivitamin & multimineral tablets as an insurance policy against potential nutritional gaps.   So if a medical doctor hasn’t advised you against taking multivitamin & multimineral supplements, then I think you should play it safe and consider supplementing your healthy diet with high-quality supplements.

Recommendations

1.-Eat a variety of different foods, preferably plant-based (fruits, vegetables, tubers, whole grain cereal & legumes) every day to maximise your natural intake of micronutrients.

2.-Make sure that a medical doctor has not advised you against taking multivitamin & multimineral supplements before you start supplementing your diet.

3.-Taking supplements don’t give you the freedom to embark on an unhealthy diet.  It would be best if you still ate as healthy as you can.

4.-Multivitamin & multimineral supplements vary in quality.  Do your research and find reliable manufacturers you can trust.

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 César Gamio - Certified Corporate Wellness Specialist - CesarGamio.com
 César Gamio - Executive Life Coach - EMCC-EIA - CesarGamio.com
 César Gamio - Chopra Center Certified Instructor - CesarGamio.com
César Gamio - Certified Corporate Wellness Specialist - CesarGamio.com César Gamio - Executive Life Coach - EMCC-EIA - CesarGamio.com
César Gamio - Chopra Center Certified Instructor - CesarGamio.com
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